May 20, 2024  
2021-2022 UMass Dartmouth Undergraduate Catalog 
2021-2022 UMass Dartmouth Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

English Major: Literature and Criticism Concentration

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In addition to the department-wide English outcomes, students in the Literature and Criticism option will be able to:

Learning Outcomes for Literature

  • Understand literature as a mode of expression that is more than informational, but also aesthetic, imaginative, and generative
  • Examine and address human conditions, causes, and contexts and how they are embedded in language, narrative, and structure in literary texts
  • Analyze a variety of literary texts through close reading of language, genre, and form
  • Describe and analyze how literary texts and theories engage with issues of race, class, sexuality, gender, and ethnicity
  • Participate in inquiry-based and student-centered dialogue by listening to others’ perspectives, asking productive questions, and articulating original ideas
  • Articulate and engage a variety of perspectives and points-of-view with both openness and critical engagement
  • Conduct original research in literary studies that interprets, evaluates, synthesizes and integrates primary and secondary sources
  • Write to discover, interpret, analyze, argue, and persuade


Students must earn a C- or better for courses to count toward the English major degree.  English majors are encouraged to take some of their electives in additional English courses.

Foundation Courses (6 credits)

Historical Surveys (6 credits)

At least one course from each survey period for a total of 6 credits.

One Pre-1800 Survey (3 credits)

One Post-1800 Survey (3 credits)

Writing- and Research-Intensive Course (3 credits)

Writing Courses (6 credits)

One course from each category below for a total of 6 credits.

Additional Requirements, to be met within the above 6 categories:

Total Credits: 36

English Honors Program

Candidates must have completed a minimum of 6 English courses beyond the freshman level and have maintained a minimum GPA of 3.2 in all English courses taken to be considered for admission to English Honors. Qualified candidates will be admitted upon recommendation of an English department faculty member willing to serve as sponsor.

Criteria and Methods of Evaluation

A three-person faculty committee (preferably including one specialist in the field under investigation) will judge all written work and administer an oral examination on the subject of the Honors Thesis. (Students are entitled to select one of their examiners.) This committee will then award “Honors” or not, on the basis of the following criteria:

  1. overall seriousness of purpose;
  2. mastery of scholarly or creative methodology;
  3. sophistication of insights achieved;
  4. ability to relate findings verbally.

Interested students should consult their advisors and/or Professor Janet Gardner no later than the beginning of the senior year.


The program involves a closely supervised, two semester (6-credit) investigation into a literary, creative or rhetorical topic devised by the student in consultation with the faculty sponsor; and requiring a substantial amount of independent reading, writing and research.

University Studies Requirements

In addition to the requirements in the major, students will be required to complete the University Studies requirements. For more information:

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